Soil test salinity interpretation

I’ve had a couple soil tests in various spots done over the years, and one result which I’ve not been sure what to think of was the soil salinity in one or two specific spots. Some background - the guy that owned this property before us did winter plowing and salting professionally, and had a large outbuilding at the northeast corner of the property in which he stored sand and salt. So he had lots of that stuff available. When I first planted fruit trees, I planted my peaches along the concrete drive down from that building. That was before I’d done any soil tests.

After I did soils tests, I discovered that the spot I had tested in that peach row, adjacent to that drive, tested at 625ppm sodium. That’s compared to other typical spots in my yard testing at 10 to 20 ppm. So my guess is the previous owner salted that drive heavily in the winter, and plowed that salted snow off to the side. The lab flagged that 625 as ‘very high’, but I’ve always been curious; just how “very high” is that?

I’d be curious to know what the highest sodium results some other people have seen are, and how/if that affected their plants? The peaches and pawpaws have been there for something like 7 years now in the oldest cases, and they don’t seem to suffer overly much, Though a couple plants have suffered sudden problems this year. I’d appreciate any other examples or advice.

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When I moved to my current place 20 years ago I planted into horse pens. Those trees began to show damage on the leaves that I thought might be salt burn. A soil test showed 1,065 ppm sodium and electrical conductivity of 6,327 umho/cm, high and very high respectively. A nearby area was 20 and 251, low and none. They recommended leaching with 10-15 inches of low salt water. I did that and have had no further issues.

Later tests have been 60 to 160 ppm sodium.

625 seems a bit high but probably not enough to do serious damage. I see you are in Omaha. That’s a bit on the dry side but if your soil drains well you should occasionally get enough rain to flush the soil out.

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Good to know, thanks! Since the trees have generally done ok I figured it wasn’t catastrophic, and like you say I hoped that over time, natural precipitation would reduce it. But it’s good to have some frame of reference, in case I ever decide to attempt planting things in other areas closer to that salt shed.

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